The cold snap has made fondue eaters happy
Back in the 1980s, the decade taste forgot, when we were forced to listen to the New Romantics, whether we wanted to or not, wear ra-ra skirts (girls only) and flick back our hair a la Farrah Fawcett (girls, boys and poodles), culinary adventures in the UK reached a new low.
For some reason or another, the Swiss must have been peeved with the Brits. Maybe it was Bucks Fizz's victory in Eurovision with Making your Mind Up that affronted the creators of the song contest which was destined to lose its tune. Whatever the reason, they foisted upon us the biggest insult to decent bread, cheese and wine the world has ever known – fondue.
Every UK dinner party had a twee fondue set with mini stove, enamel pot and long, multi-coloured plastic-handled fork-ended prongs. Every hostess bought at least twice as much cheese as she needed and every guest ate half as much as they wanted. Yuppie houses in cul-de-sacs everywhere were filled with the fug of freshly-burned cheese.
I believe car boot sales were invented by the fondue-weary who couldn't sell their expensive sets through the newspaper small-ads. Somewhere, someone has stockpiled sets from all over the globe, many in their original, unopened packaging, in the hope that one day, a dewy-eyed Antiques Roadshow expert will pronounce them valuable beyond measure, though more likely the owner will be advised to fill the pots with soil and plant peas.
Thankfully fondue sets have disappeared from UK wedding present lists, but they still lurk on an industrial scale inside every Alpine restaurant.
According to today's Swiss version of the Metro, 20 Minutes, so-called because that's how long it takes to read and discard it, the recent cold snap (la bise) has led to a rush on fondue to warm the cockles of many a heart. Unfortunately it's also led to an increase in house fires as the cheese/alcohol mixtures have spontaneously combusted, throwing a web of string cheese everywhere.
Noel reported that when fondue appeared on the menu at his Swiss lodgings, he and his fellow ski instructors would absent themselves and head for the pizzeria.
Ah, I said,. so you don't like bread and melted cheese, then?
So instead you're going to the pizzeria where you'll have warm bread and melted cheese?
I see where you're going with this
And what will you drink?
So you're turning down bread, melted cheese and wine in favour of… err…bread, melted cheese and wine…?
Yes….but that's different
A weekend with mates
We spent a very pleasant weekend our friends Helen and Matthew, marvelling at the growing bump, due to enter the world in May. S/he is referred to affectionately as Spangle